CalRecycle Dealer Cooperatives Program

A dealer cooperative is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit stewardship organization redeeming California Redemption Value (CRV) containers in convenience zones not served by a recycling center.

Dealer cooperatives are an innovative program to:

These cooperatives are California retailers (dealers) with an approved dealer cooperative redemption plan. 
See Public Resources Code (PRC) section 14510.2 for the full definition.

Starting January 1, 2025, dealers not exempt* in these unserved convenience zones need to either:

  1. Redeem all beverage container types in-store or
  2. Join a dealer cooperative to provide beverage container redemption opportunities.


CalRecycle’s Dealer Cooperatives Program provides dealers with:

  • Oversight of dealer cooperative implementation.
  • Review of stewardship plans for approval.

Program News

*Starting Jan. 1, 2025, smaller stores will be exempt from the obligation to redeem CRV if they have either annual sales less than $1.5 million or less than 5,000 sq. ft.

What can dealers do before the regulations take effect?

  • Dealers in unserved zones can begin:
    • Planning to form dealer cooperatives
    • Establishing relationships with other dealers
    • Registering 501(c)(3) organizations with the IRS
    • Exploring partnerships with recycling services

empty bottles with can

In summary, dealer cooperatives are required to:

  1. Register as a dealer cooperative with CalRecycle.
  2. Submit a plan on how they will provide redemption in one or more unserved convenience zones with the same level of convenience as recycling centers and recycling pilot projects.
  3. Collect fees from dealer members to fund cost to start and operate an approved plan.
  4. Redeem all CRV container types.
  5. Offer one or more redemption locations within the dealer cooperative zone.
  6. Operate and fully implement the approved plan.
  7. Regularly provide reports to CalRecycle on the number of CRV containers redeemed and other information.

See PRC section 14578.5 (c) (1 through 6) for the full requirements of dealer cooperatives.

CalRecycle is currently conducting rulemaking to clarify legal requirements for dealer cooperatives, including:

  • Redemption plan requirements
  • Recordkeeping and reporting requirements
  • Enforcement
  • Dealer registration procedures
Reverse vending machine

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